Ukraine Sends Commando Teams to the Zaporozhye Nuclear Reactor

According to reports from Moscow, two commando teams landed in the area of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Reactor, the amphibious units were intercepted while they were in transit.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Ukraine sent troops from many directions to a  Nuclear Power Plant in Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant Reactors Nos. 2 and 3 in Energodar Thursday in an apparent attempt to seize the facility.

There was supposedly an event where two “sabotage teams,” totaling up to 60 men, deployed 7 speedboats and breached the Kakhovka Dam, and arrived approximately 3 kilometers northeast of the nuclear site.

The ministry claimed that Ukrainian commandos attempted to storm the station, but were thwarted by Russian soldiers stationed there. It further said that the Russian military had sent assault helicopters to back up the plant’s security staff.

About an hour later, towards the southwest of Energodar, which is the site of the power plant, there was a secondary engagement, as explained by Moscow. The statement claims that several boats transporting Ukrainian marine combat teams were targeted by Russian soldiers and sunk.

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Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant Reactors Nos. 2 and 3 in Energodar, Russia / Sputnik / Konstantin Mihalchevskiy

The government also asserted that Ukrainian artillery had opened fire on a designated area close to Energodar 2 hours just after the arrival of the commando troops. According to the source, The (IAEA) officials are trying to go through the area for an inspection of the facility.

In the days leading up to the visit of United Nations nuclear experts, the city has come under criticism.

The ministry claimed that Kiev’s provocations were made to prevent the IAEA from inspecting the Nuclear Power Plant.

Since March, Russian forces have controlled both the factory and the city. Repeated shelling and UAV strikes on the nuclear plant began in August, with Russia and Kiev each blaming each other. 

The Ukrainian government alleged that Russia had stationed tanks and artillery at the plant, turning it into a military compound. Moscow refuted the allegations, saying its personnel was unarmed.

The IAEA team was deployed this week following many setbacks. Both Russia and Kiev expressed anticipation about the arrival and promised to make it as easy as possible for investigators to reach their respective targets.

The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog is tasked with conducting a site visit in order to evaluate the current status, conduct an inspection of the power station, and ensure that non-proliferation safeguards are still in place. IAEA estimates indicate that the Zaporozhye complex holds tens of tonnes of refined plutonium and uranium inside its fuel rods and store buildings.

In early Thursday, the Ukrainian nuclear operators Energoatom accused Russia of firing mortars at the plant, forcing the shutdown of one of the two reactors. Local authorities sympathetic to Russia have also verified the closure, however, they attribute the cause to that attack by Ukraine forces, Besides the Russian administration, the factory is staffed by civilian workers from Ukraine.

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